Dear Interested Readers:
For those of you unaware, one of Britain’s highest courts found that Minnesota’s program to commit sex offenders violates European human rights law, because the offenders are held indefinitely.
As a result, forty-three year old Shawn Eugene Sullivan will not be brought back toMinnesota from the U.K.to face charges in Hennepin and Dakota counties for assaults of three young females in the 1990′s.
Ironically, Mr. Sullivan is on probation for sexually assaulting two women in Ireland, the country he escaped to, from theUnited States. He was convicted in absentia in 1997 of indecent assault on two 12 year old females.
It is time that we face the reality of our situation. Right now, we have a black eye in front of the world.
Minnesota has traditionally led the field in the area of human rights. However, the arena of criminal sexual conduct punishment and treatment has often been blurred by strong emotion, instead of a pragmatic point of view. It is in my recollection that Dr. Farnsworth, the former medical director of the St. Peter Security Hospital, resigned because he did not want to turn our mental health institutions into prisons. We are now getting beat up in the international court of public opinion because we give detention for life, with no standards for review and release. A life sentence without parole is harsher than the sentence we give for murder in the 1stdegree. The life sentence is cruel and inhuman.
Because of this deplorable situation, a man on Interpol’s “most wanted” list is not able to be returned to Minnesota for prosecution.
When a British court can humiliate Minnesota in the eyes of the world, it is time for us to sit up and take responsibility for our predicament.
Let us change our minds. Let us treat the offender and come to the realization that they will eventually be returned to our communities. Let us learn to safely weave them back into the fabric of society. We certainly have the technology. Because of our archaic laws, we force children to undergo the rigors of testifying in open court. I know, as I have practiced criminal defense for over 32 years.
We must put fear aside, and come to understand that our society is for all. Let us conform to international standards of human rights.
Let us lead the world with our vision for positive change.